Tell Us Dammit: Your Biggest Disappointment

Image: Steam

Given that I was writing about No Man's Sky earlier today, it's hard not to think of all the fury and rage people had in the weeks after launch. I think the "most disappointing game of the year" train has probably moved on, but it got me wondering: what's the most disappointing game you've ever purchased or played?

The first cab off the rank, surely, would have to be the trainwreck that was Aliens: Colonial Marines. I feel like it's going to be a long, long while before people forget how appallingly bad that game was.

But one that I bought myself, many moons ago, was BRINK. I even had an AMD graphics card back then, which made the experience all the more painful. The ideas around movement were certainly ahead of its time - just look at games like Titanfall and how Call of Duty has co-opted parkour - but the execution, the atrocious performance, bafflingly bad AI and the regular crashes were hard to forget.

Other suggestions:

  • SimCity (2013): Pretty hard not to include the game that basically popularised provisional reviews because its servers were so hideously broken at launch. Hell, EA even won a Shonky award over their support hotline that year.
  • RAGE: Why Megatextures Never Became A Thing.
  • Evolve: What was a really good concept ended up being let down by a bad business model, matchmaking that took forever at launch and the fact that most games you ended up in were far too one-sided, which blew the tension right out of the water.
  • Assassin's Creed 3: In so, so many ways.
  • Dragon's Lair Time Warp: Because you couldn't actually input the commands on an Amiga joystick, so you just got screwed over repeatedly.
  • Any Mario Party after Mario Party 3: This one's from Hayley (although I reckon 4 and 5 weren't too bad).

What's your most disappointing game?


    Any game I have bought, that didn't allow inverting mouse. INSTANT DISAPPOINT! (and refusal to play)
    Where appropriate of course. Obviously depends entirely on the game type.

    Last edited 01/12/16 11:24 am

      The exact opposite of this.

        So you're disappointed if they give you the option? That seems a bit odd...? ;)

          Not precisely what I meant. Regardless, yes the option to invert is entirely unnecessary for me. Waste of a precious half byte on my drives!

            That half byte can cost half a games potential audience!
            Freedom of choice is best! Don't be intertophobic! We're people too!!! ;)


      My brother!
      It's always fun to get back to your computer for some Overwatch after the GF has been playing it and stare at the floor for a second isn't it?

        hahah I am fortunate enough to not have that problem. Even when I did have a partner, she had her own pc cos nobody used mine except me! ;)
        I do recall having that happen several times years ago though at a LAN. I'd swap out and let someone play while I ate or something, and come back and everything was backwards!

          Ha, definitely been there as well.
          Check this out if you haven't seen it:
          I think it was made right around the time I was mad into CoD4 and it totally captures the feeling

            The message is backwards though! ;) It should be friends don't let friends play non-inverted! hahah
            Honestly I don't care what people prefer, but they should be given the choice! It's not like they have to re-code the whole game. Can't comprehend why game makers would risk alienating half their potential audience by not giving the option!

              Totally agree. To be honest thought, I can't even remember the last game that wouldn't let me invert look.
              They even let you invert X axis, and I've legitimately never met someone who prefers that option. Hrmmm, maybe I should learn it just to create even more chaos for my GF!

              Last edited 01/12/16 2:15 pm

    holy shit! is that Brink!?!?!

    Just seeing that still makes me feel disappointment..... That game had so much potential!

      Yeah Brink was mightily disappointing - I think I paid $5 for it and I feel like I was ripped off

      I preordered that one and had hyped up my brothers and a bunch of their friends. We were watching developer diaries about the story and getting into heated political debates about the divide between factions.

      My GOD, the disappointment... the waste of potential. It should be a crime.

      Too many resources spent on fancy shit instead of the core game. Splash Damage have made the same mistake with Dirty Bomb.

    I think Mirror's Edge Catalyst this year. Or it was probably just me.

      Every new piece of information they put out about that game before release lowered my expectations. I loved Mirror's Edge but all of the marketing material made me believe that they simply were not making a sequel that highlighted the good parts.

      So I skipped Catalyst and feel pretty vindicated by my choice. Such a shame. There's a lot of potential in Mirror's Edge.

    Watch Dogs and Aliens: Colonial Marines, yes i bought the collectors editions for both games. WD was mediocre and A:CM was just plain shit.

      Haha I bought the collectors for Aliens: Colonial Marines aswell. Shit game, decent figure

    Bugs Bunny Birthday bash on the NES. Spent ages on tram to go to Movieland to hire it. Got back, played game and finished it on first go. such a bad game riddled with extra lives on every freaking screen.
    Oh, and there the was the time I ordered Micro Olympics on the BBC. Sort of a home grown version of Hyper Olympics. Took nearly 8 months to arrive and then my mate (C64 owner) was pissing himself at how pox the graphics were and how fast I was hammering the keys for 100m and the "athlete" was hardly moving down the track. Turns out is was a game you could have bought the magazine and typed the code in yourself.

      I hadn't even thought about the oldschool 'console wars' era of games!

      I think my biggest disappointment in those days was NBA Jam on the Game Boy.

      I had been saving pocket money for a few months and wanted to buy Road Rash for $50. When I went to the store, I saw that NBA Jam had been discounted from $90 to $70, which seemed like a steal - I loved it on the SNES and Mega Drive, so thought it might be a good purchase.

      I was so very, very, very wrong. It was one of the worst games I think has ever existed. My buyer's remorse was so strong (months of saving... wasted!) that Mum saw how bummed-out I was and took me back to return the game. I went with my gut and bought Road Rash instead, and it was one of the best purchases on the Gameboy ever.
      (Zelda 4 was the best, followed by Kirby 2, and Warioland. These were the pre-pokemon days.)

    Any Mario Party after Mario Party 3
    Could not agree more. And yet, I keep picking new ones up in the hopes they'll recapture what the games used to be like.

      The gamecube games had EXCELLENT sports games on the side. Ice hockey and beach volleyball were amazing fun.

      Would it really be so hard for them to bring out one that just harvests all the best mini-games from the entire series rather than trying to make us waggle wii-motes in new ways? Grab bag or riot!

      dafuq! heresy!

      anything after 7 was munted in my opinion. i had 5,6 and 7 on gamecube (have also played the first 3.) i think where they really fucked it was in the last few where they force all the players to move at the same time, takes away from the tactical side of playing in my opinion.

    Brink is pretty high up there for all time disappointment.
    I still get bummed out thinking about that final "boss" fight in RAGE, but I did like the shooting in that game.

    Neverdead - it had a novel gimmick but it wore thin 10 minutes into the otherwise forgettable third person action game.

    the majority of the licenced Platinum games - Legend of Korra and TMNT were bitterly disappointing because I know how good the company can be. Transformers Devastation eeks out a pass because damn I love the cel-shaded visuals and that they got all the living og voice actors back.

    The Division - I was expecting more of an MMO from this or at least the ability to encounter other players in the PvE world even if I couldn't team up with them.

    Last edited 01/12/16 11:39 am

    Whenever someone posts about Aliens Colonial Marines I feel a chill in the breeze.

    But seriously, I think 'biggest disappointment' on its own isn't that easy to define. I mean, it's not something that's set in stone.

    Bioshock Infinite, for me, was a huge let-down. But I allowed myself to get blind drunkenly hyped on trailers that were released showing concepts that were never in the final game. I accept some of the blame there.

    I didn't end up finding Zelda Link to the Past that interesting when I finally got to playing it in 2014 or thereabouts, same with Super Metroid. My introductions to these games were their 3D instalments, and I truly believe the latter are the better games, I wouldn't say I was disappointed with the formers, just under-whelmed.

    Please put down that bat, Mark.

    Similarly, with the PC and the absolute bananas that ecosystem has gone, I can't say I'm that disappointed with stuff I'm paying really cheap prices during a sale for.

    My biggest disappointment?


    I didn't play it until after the news of its removal was being reported. I 'think' I only had my PS4 for a short time at that stage (I got it for Bloodborne), so the 'OH MY GOD THIS GAME' phase had passed me by.

    It was a game of its time, clearly. And that window was only about two months. If that. Obviously others had a better time with it than me, but cripes it was a drag. I've played better games that are similar to what P.T. was attempting to do, and they accomplished it with much less. Much more interested in Resident Evil 7.

    EDIT: Shout-out to Alien Isolation as well. It was such a wet fart by the end I had totally forgot to mention it in an article where it totally would have fit my idea of a disappointment. Sigh.

    EDIT 2 ELECTRIC BOOGALOO: DAYZ STANDALONE. Oh gawd why did Rocket ever leave.

    Last edited 01/12/16 11:41 am

      Wet fart by the end....
      Yup, that perfectly captures the soul of Isolation.

      For a game to start so brilliantly, only to die in such mediocrity, it's certainly a contender.

    I know people will think I'm an idiot but these are my 3 recent disappointments:
    Last of Us - I was so looking forward to this when I got my PS4, played 4 hours and just disliked it immensely.
    Journey - Again all that hype, for what?
    No Man's Sky - Yeah we all know, as JB Hifi put it, "Best refund simulator of 2016"

      People think I'm crazy when I say I didn't enjoy Last of Us. I played for a few hours and got sick of the clunkiness. Watched the rest of the game on YouTube and had far more fun. An average action game with an amazing atmosphere and characters, more fun to watch than play.

      I didn't like tlou either, felt like uncharted but with all the good bits taken out.

      Supposed to be survival horror but there was ammo and guns everywhere.

      Also supposed to be an apocalypse but sooo many bad guys pouring out of doors to kill over and over. Then when you kill them all it's like nothing ever happened.

      Stealth was crap. Barely worked.

      Characters had little to no personality arc, they just changed towards the end to suit the ending.

      Oh yea the ending sucked.

    Assassins Creed III is really the correct answer. Turned me from a lover of the series into a hater.

    I've looked at every asscreed since, and a cold, clammy dread has come over me that it would just be 3 again.

      I don't understand the hate that asscreed3 gets.
      I enjoyed the game even if Connor had the personality of a wet noodle. Maybe having such a gap between the games and not punching them out each year helped.

        I felt like so, so many of the mission objectives were too restrictive, and disconnected from the narrative. I felt like rather than being given the ability to achieve the mission goal, I was on the worst kind of railroad - one that was desperately protesting that it wasn't one

        The ending. The ending of AC3 killed the series for me forevermore, since it was a giant FU to the player. Maybe they thought they were being edgy with it, but it left a terrible taste in my mouth.

        Goodbye Deponia suffers the same where a terrible terrible ending killed a series that I'd loved playing.

        You don't get it? It's not just that Connor has no personality:
        I mean I could pick on individual aspects...
        * Epic stealth and wildlife parkour ... to kill rabbits
        * Grow your homestead... by picking flowers to help a guy romance a woman who won't care about them... and deliver them to him on the toilet.
        * One assassination that's almost entirely cutscenes.

        Or more generally, that:
        * We're never given a reason to care about any of the events, they're just important COZ MURICA!
        * The clustertruck "conclusion" of the Desmond storyline
        * Limited parkour options within the "cities"
        * The fact that almost every single mission in a supposedly "open world" game is limited and constrained to highly restrictive paths both by optional objectives and boundaries placed upon the area and actions of the player.

        There are just so many things fundamentally flawed with AC3 that I don't ever understand how there were people coming out in support of it saying it was a great game.

          I don't think it is a great game but I found it to be a serviceable AC game
          Maybe because I was repeatedly told how terrible it was, my expectations were so low for the game that the fact it worked was a pleasant surprise.
          I guess in part why it isn't such a bad game for me is the way I play those games. It is normally with my wife and it is more of an exploration, collectable hunt more than anything else.

            Yeah, fair enough. If you've continually been told how awful it is, I could see how it could exceed expectations of being "pretty much the worst game ever". When I started playing it, I'd been told by one person "it's pretty bad" and the reviews were somewhat mixed.

            As I played it, it just felt as though each design decision and game mechanic fought against each other, or if not, were utterly vestigial and isolated from anything else. Then the writing, which was never particularly good to begin with, descended into such lazy and ridiculous territory that I wondered if the writers had run an internal competition to see who could get the worst sub-plot approved.

            I've always felt the collectibles have been the worst and most pointless part of AC, and the exploration just felt somewhat stale in AC3 to me - but if that's what you were going for, I guess I can appreciate it could fill that niche.

      see, for me it was black flag, i know ill cop hate for it. but i thought spending so much time on the ships was so tedious.

      i played 3 years after it was released and really enjoyed it, then played black flag and ive put it down after completing 50%, meanwhile i picked up Unity and absolutely goes into my top 3 of the assassins creed series (i havnt played syndicate yet though, ill wait till its $9 at EB)

        The only reason I play Black Flag is because a) it was free and 2) it's the original asscreed multiplayer on my Xbone! Love the brotherhood multiplayer

        Completely agree that Unity is a better single player game - the pirate ship stuff is boring

        The ships were the only reason I played Black Flag. Without them, it would have just been another boring torturous "Assassin's Creed" game, and nobody wants that. ;)

          i was fine with the amount of ships in Assassins Creed 3 and even a little bit of Black Flag, but it just took up way too much of the game in my opinion. i enjoyed AC 3 more than black flag, and i enjoyed unity and AC2 more than any other game in the series, i even enjoyed the very first game more than ac3 and blag flag. but thats only because its how i preferred to play.

            The only AC games I enjoyed were the first one and Black Flag. AC1 was super repetitive, though I did enjoy the desert setting. I haven't played any since Black Flag though, AC2 really turned me off the genre (even though most people loved it).

    The most disappointing game I've ever played in my life, that I can recall, would probably be Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

    I'm a huge Star Wars fan and the hype leading up to The Force Unleashed was tremendous. The game promised so much but in the end, failed to deliver, instead giving us a short story, repetitive game play, frustrating boss battles and a lack of replayability.

    This year, my most disappointing game was No Man's Sky, but it could be better now due to these patches? I would say the next most disappointing game would be a combination of Mirror's Edge: Catalyst and Dex.

    To be fair, Dex is an indie game and to me, it sounded so awesome (a 2D side scrolling, open world RPG set in a cyberpunk world, what's not to like?) but sadly it turned out to be a shallow, disappointing experience riddled with bugs.

    Last edited 06/12/16 10:13 am

      but but but, Star Killer was awesome. (i actually mean that, i thought he was cool) it did get very monotonous though.

        I agree, I thought Star Killer was pretty cool. It's just a shame that a character with such potential was introduced to such a disappointing game.

    Probably recently it would have been Skyshine's BEDLAM which was a kickstarter game I backed. Had everything going for it to gel as a great game for me but just didn't work for me.
    They have apparently had some updates post launch so maybe I should try it again but for what could have been goty it really missed the mark for me

    Civ:Beyond earth was not a modern alpha centauri

    Not a game per se, but my biggest disappointment is my inability to make much of a dent in my backlog.

    According to Darkadia I have 541 games, of which 214 remain unplayed. Curse you, real life, for always getting in the way!

    The Halo 5 campaign. Don't play much MP these days so can't comment on that but the SP, besides looking good, didn't really tick any boxes then ended when it felt like it was about to get going.

      Halo 4 in general. Game starts with dozens of QTE events, features boring enemies in single player, and a multiplayer that was far too close to CoD for my taste. Also, all the weapons sounded wrong.

        This is the only Halo I've ever played and it is my most disappointing game for sure. I was really looking forward to getting in on the series from seeing other Halo games. The game's single player was so bad it made me hate everything about it. The one fucking boss you fight over and over is the worst designed boss fight I've seen since that god damn bird in Far Cry 4.

          Try out Halo 1 somewhere. It's on PC so I'm sure it'll be somewhere on the net. Halo 1,2,3 and Reach are muuuuuuch better than Halo 4. Best played with a buddy in local splitscreen, so the MC Collection is a good buy.

        Ehh, this. I was so hyped for Halo 4, I even got to play it before release at EB Expo and I loved it; but it was so damn disappointing.
        Destiny would be my next choice, I wish it had ended up as more of a No Man's Sky/Halo hybrid. Not sure how that would work exactly, but ehh, what we had on release was pretty bland.

    Space Harrier for Amstrad CPC464 when I was about 8. The box had the arcade graphics on the back which blew my mind. Big colourful detailed sprites, it was amazing. Then I got home and saw wireframe enemies and was wondering when the detailed graphics would kick in. This is what I got instead

    For me personally, it's Assassin's Creed: Black Flag. I like the visual styling of the game, and what's not to love about pirates, right? But there's a spot early in the game that I just can't get past (where you're hiding in the bushes and have to get past the Redcoats). I just kept dying and dying until I ragequit. It's not the game that sucks, it's me.

      I think I know wat you are referring to. Just hide in bushes, whistle, kill. Rinse and repeat. Do give it another shot.

      I couldnt get into AC 4 the first time too and I quit at exactly this section. But restarted it a few months later. Absolutely loved it. Spent 50 hours in it.

      For me thats much the same, loved all the pirateness of BF but hated most of the land stuff.
      Particular as you mention Yet Another "Listen To Conversation Without Being Spotted" (i'm sure there is a more catchier acronym to use for that...).
      Main reason for doing the land stuff was just to collect more Shanty's!
      If they lost all the land stuff and fleshed out the pirate/ship stuff more, woulda been great.
      I just groaned every time i made land somewhere and open the map to see yet another dreaded "Ubisoft collect-a-thon" and just made straight for the shanty to get the hell outta there back to Jackdaw

    Call of duty ghosts. Turned me off the series completely.

      This! So much this! Used to love the series until this atrocious pile of suck came along. Haven't played any title since.

      Ghosts is the only CoD game I've played. So I wanna know why people hate it. Seemed fine to me. My only complaint was that it did not really let me take alternate routes or anything. Even thougj there were alternate routes.

    Mostly sequels (or franchises), I guess. When you're blown away by a previous game, then you get on board the hype train, and then you get let down.
    Perfect Dark Zero - I love the original. If all they did was re-release it on the XBox, it would've been better than PD0.
    Assassins Creed 3 - How they managed to make the American Revolution terribly boring remains a mystery. At least they trialed naval combat, which fed into the far better Black Flag.
    Neverwinter Nights 2 - After loving the first game, the second was an absolute mess.
    Star Wars Republic Commando - Didn't play it on release, so there's zero nostalgia value for me. After years of people telling me it was great, I picked it up on sale and was overwhelmingly disappointed.
    Star Wars: The Old Republic - People spent, like, a whole year telling me that it wasn't like a MMO. Turns out 90% of the quests are still "go to X, kill and/or collect Y number of Z things. And all the mobs keep respawning.
    Bioshock 2 - The originality and wonder of Rapture was what made the original great. Loaded it up, played a couple of hours and got the overwhelming feeling that I'd done this all before. Haven't played it again.
    Beyond Earth - Pay full price for a reskin of Civ. Had none of the soul of Alpha Centauri.

      Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who liked ACIII. Sure the protagonist was boring and I stopped caring about his backstory and the supposed conflict between his loyalty to his tribe and his role as an assassin-in-training almost immediately, but the gameplay was a decent improvement on Brotherhood (I hated Revelations and didn't get far into it), I actually really enjoyed the frontier setting and upgrading the homestead, the early version of the ship combat was really great until it was superseded by Black Flag, and I enjoyed the sewer puzzles to unlock the fast travel, even if I did discover them embarrassingly late in the game.
      The modern day aspects were also quite cool and I thought that the ending was fairly good. I wish ACIII had been the end of the franchise and Black Flag had been the start of an all new series.

        AC3 struck me as a real paint-by-numbers affair. I enjoyed Ezio's story in the previous games, but the story within 3 fell really flat for me. AC3 was also the height, in my opinion, of the AC protagonist needing to be present at every single historically significant event and to meet every single historically significant person in the area.
        There was no need to continue with the Assassin's Creed series for Black Flag. That could've just been a rockin' pirate game - AC:Rogue, as a sequel, proved that it had more than one game in it.

          have either of you tried Unity, all the patches are out which fixed the fuck up which was its original release, its easily as good as Assassins Creed 2, maybe just a tad shy of being so.

            No, is it running well on PC now?

              hells yeah, they patched over the course of a year and now it runs really well.
              and if you have a few mates who might be interested, EB still sells it for $9, me and some mates bought it earlier this year becasue it has a co-op mode which is really fun. up to 4 people all doing a mission together and there are a few about.
              you'll jump into the game and within about 1 hour it will feel like home. like Assassins Creed 2.
              if you like 2, i think youll like Unity. i have read of some people still have issues with it, but i have a 7 year old PC and it has run flawlessly for me in terms of framerates and such, no real bugs to speak of, the occasional assassins creed glitch, like when npcs do funny stuff. but yeah, give it give it a crack for $9 go in without expectations other than to have some fun in a new world and then i think you will be pleasantly surprised with how much joy $9 can bring you.

      The main campaign of NWN2 was unfortunately flawed in a whole bunch of ways. The plot lurches through a lot of guff before it actually gains some steam, but even then, there's nothing that feels particularly epic.

      However, the Mask of the Betrayer expansion is an excellent RPG adventure, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to people for its choices, complexity and overall plot.

    I can't remember which Resident Evil it was.. Maybe Operation Raccoon City or number 6, I'm not entirely sure. I was really frustrated with the hitbox when I would have the entire aiming reticle on an enemies head; only to say I'd made a body shot or completely miss; it made the game unplayable for me and traded it in within a fortnight of buying it a few years ago.

    This year it was No Man's Sky :(

      Resi 5 was one the biggest let downs. Resi 4 was amazing. Had me up till 4-5am playing only to realise I had to go to work in a couple of hours. Resi 5 was unplayable.

    007 Nightfire. My trusted source of reviews at the time (which lined up incredibly well with my own tastes in pretty much every other instance I can think of) labeled it a "GoldenEye killer". It was no such thing, and is probably the only game I can think of that was a regretful purchase.

    Possibly Project Cars too, though that's more down to being no good at sim racers probably. Would be nice if it had some kind of tutorial, felt pretty lost.

      Wow really? Nightfire is one of my favourite games. Spent countless hours on it in mp with my sister/friends.

        It felt too much to me like a "PC" shooter, when I've always preferred console shooters. I don't know what defines this exactly especially since I never really played any PC shooters at all, but there was just some kind of feeling that I associated with them and Nightfire fell within that :P

        In part one of the things I didn't like about it versus GE was that rather than taking a kind of figure out what to do for yourself approach, and where you should use which thing, it was more "press Spy button to perform auto-selected Spy Action now hooray". Also personally disliked how they nerfed the grappling hook in multiplayer from how it was in Agent Under Fire, where it could just grab onto anything and made for some insanely fun matches.

        But yeah, in hindsight it probably wasn't all that bad a game on its own, but it still comes nowhere near GoldenEye for me.

          Oh yeah, no doubt, Goldeneye was great. I suppose it probably wasnt as amazing as I remember haha but the nostalgia value means it's right up there for me.

    Duke Nukem Forever. I know, I know, the vaporware that should have been allowed to float away forever. I somehow expected after a decade of development hell and reboots that this time capsule of misogyny and dated gameplay would somehow thrive in the modern day.

    The humour was way off base, the sexual jokes instead of being playfully crude were just kind of gross, and the gameplay was horrible. Duke had the audacity to walk around jerking off about how much better he is than the Master Chief, while the combat was basically the same as Halo 1, only shittier. I could have forgiven all of that if the goddamn loading times were halfway acceptable. Early on in the game I was really struggling with the controls and the difficulty curve and it didn't help that every death meant upwards of a minute staring at a loading screen to put me back into the action.

    Got fed up and returned it.

      I hated it too, but wouldn't call it a disappointment because it was exactly as crap as I expected it to be. Got to the underwater level, go frustrated and returned it for a full refund.

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection. A completely broken, inexcusable cash grab that killed all desire to ever play a Halo game again, for me and all of my friends who got suckered into buying it.

    Going old skool with this : Ultima 9; after 8 which was a let down from 7, but had interesting ideas, 9 was just so small and janky. It was better on replay but I still feel the Sting of the first playthrough

      I recall enjoying 9. Sure it wasn't as big or involved as the previous 2 games, but I kind of didn't expect it to be given it was 3d. Considering when it was made, I was rather pleased with it. Might not be one of my all time fav games, but it was definitely one of those games that made me appreciate having a 3dfx card! :)

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